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This review is from: All Hell Let Loose: The World at War 1939-1945 (Hardcover)
WW2 is forever an enigma - how come the events of these brief years continue to yield such fascination? I read Max Hasting's account of Bomber Command which was an eye opener par excellence. In this previous book he accurately consolidated Len Deighton's previous fiction work, indeed both books were more like a documentary film.
This new item is acute, really a new appraisal. It cuts like a knife through butter, in making you imagine and elaborate (his) new observations, distilled through the voices of ordinary people. The account of 1940 is a book in itself: "The more upon a knife edge than you can imagine", and this is not the Battle of Britain stuff.
Jack Hennessy's previous review if fantastic, but I have to disagree on some crucial points. The old chestnut of Arthur Harris. He is in fact "the voice of the people" and he always gets short shrift in post-WW2 accounts of what actually happened. If anyone ever bit their lip and got on with it, he did.
The other thing I thought - what comes out is the deep ordinariness of so many of the German/Russian military leaders.
All of the true voices are hidden at the bottom. That I think is the subversive message in the timing of this publication and the irony of its author's background - Daily Telegraph etc.
Ignore all that, this is a great book.